PBS recently aired a documentary called Spies of Mississippi. The film looks into the work of an agency called the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, who employed spies to infiltrate civil rights groups in the 60’s. The film features interviews with civil rights leaders like Bob Moses, Lawrence Guyot, and Ed King. You can read more about the film on the Clarion Ledger.
It was learned that the agency paid someone known as ‘Agent X’ who was entrenched in civil rights groups to spy on meetings and training sessions in Oxford, OH in 1964. It is believed that the some of the reports led to the murders of several civil rights activists. Reports included a variety of information, including license tag numbers of cars.
The truth of the case is a tangled web. Authorities believe they know the identity of Agent X, but the man is known as a leader of the movement, and has many defenders. RL Bolden denied allegations that he was Agent X. The truth may never be known.
The films concludes by drawing a connection between the spying in Mississippi to the modern story of America spying by collecting data in text messages, emails, phone calls, and phone locations.